NEW YORK (AP) — The Mets’ pitching staff took a hit before the start of spring training when the team announced Saturday that Seth Lugo needs elbow surgery and will miss the start of the season.

An MRI revealed a bone spur in the right-hander’s pitching elbow. Mets medical director Dr. David Altchek will operate Tuesday at the Hospital for Special Surgery.

Lugo will not throw for six weeks, then will be assessed and transition to a throwing program. That timeline means the earliest he would start to throw would be about opening day on April 1. He will not be game ready until well into the season.

The Mets said a bone spur broke during Lugo’s heightened workouts leading to spring training. Inflammation would not subside, and Lugo recently informed the medical staff.

The 31-year-old Lugo was 3-4 with a 5.15 ERA in seven starts and nine relief appearances during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. He moved into the rotation in mid-August to replace a faltering Steven Matz. Lugo was one of the most durable relievers in 2019, with a 2.70 ERA over 80 innings in 61 games.

Lugo agreed last month to a $2,925,000, one-year contract and was projected to be back in the bullpen this season as a setup man for closer Edwin Díaz.


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